Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The state of Orthodoxy in Canada

Quite an interesting read. Very little is said about how Orthodoxy is faring in Canada though there is discussion about the efforts underway to establish a separate assembly separate from the United States. Much of that discussion some iteration of: "Do we really need another 'Chamb├ęsian' group just for Canada?" I have yet see any posts in support of it, but I encourage anyone who has to send them my way for posting here.

(pravmir.com) - Canada and the United States share the world’s longest undefended border, yet on spiritual matters, the two countries could not be more different.

While America is generally seen as a melting pot, where religion has a prominent place in the public square, Canada is very much a cultural mosaic, where religion is often viewed as a private matter, and where the public square is silent on religious questions, if not actually antireligious. These differences, coupled with the constant stream of immigrants to Canada from a variety of countries with Orthodox heritage, has shaped the growth and attendance at Orthodox parishes in Canada.

Over the last two decades, growth in the number of parishes has been measurable. Parishes of the Orthodox Church in America have doubled in number (along with a doubling of clergy). Antiochian missions have seen growth in new neighbourhoods, as well as Arab communities. In the cases of parishes made up of adult converts to the Orthodox Faith, these parishes are in almost all cases small parishes, under fifty parishioners, with priests who are paid little or nothing at all, and who hold other secular employment.

Other Orthodox jurisdictions (there are more than ten, since North America experienced a jurisdictional division in the 1920s) have seen fluctuation based on immigration patterns. Russian language missions (of the OCA, the Moscow Patriarchate, and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) have been growing in major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. The growth in these communities cannot be attributed to pious Russians immigrants alone, but also to converts from Judaism, Islam, and non-religious backgrounds, including atheism. Immigration from former Soviet republics has contributed the majority of these faithful...
Complete article here.


  1. OCA propaganda. The traditional Orthodox Churches are doing well in Canada. There are almost 50 Orthodox churches in Toronto alone. the Greeks have huge parishes with active youth groups.
    As for the Ukrainians here is a link to one of their parishes in the outskirts of Toronto (not the eparchial cathedral in downtown Toronto):

  2. Thanks for the post. I expect to see more discussion of Canadian Orthodoxy as the process moves along (or, if it doesn't, then commentary on that).